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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Peter B. Lewis' Cash Funding Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Charge

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 11:35 AM

peter-b-lewis.jpg

Back in 2010, the NYT wrote about rich folks who used to donate boatloads of cash to Democrats but who don't funnel their cash toward politics any longer.

Peter B. Lewis was included in the piece. Here's the snippet:

The attention of Mr. Lewis, chairman of Progressive Insurance, also appears to be elsewhere this year. Jennifer Frutchy, who advises Mr. Lewis on his philanthropy, said he was focused at the moment on “building progressive infrastructure and marijuana reform.”

“That’s just where his head is right now,” Ms. Frutchy said.

His head hasn't left that space, not that we'd expect it to — there's enough pot smoke floating around in his head that no other idea can hope to permeate the airspace.

Lewis, of course, is a strong proponent of medical marijuana, having written lucidly about his beliefs that our "marijuana laws are stupid."

Which is why his money and influence are levied not only in the Buckeye State but elsewhere. The Massachusetts effort is literally almost entirely funded by Peter B. Via Forbes:

If the cannabis reform ballot succeeds, one man will be able to take much of the credit: Peter Lewis, the billionaire behind insurance giant Progressive, who’s put forward almost every penny being spent on pro-legalization lobbying.

In January the group behind the Mass. bill, the Committee for Compassionate Medicine, reported raising $526,000. Of that, $525,000 came from Peter Lewis.

This isn’t the first time Lewis has effectively bankrolled a state’s entire pot legalization movement, usually to the tune of at least six digits.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws estimates that Lewis has spent between $40 million and $60 million funding the cause since the 1980s.

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